These Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls are just like the kind you get at Chipotle! By using a natural pressure release, the beef stays tender, flavourful and delicious!
What is the meat in Chipotle Barbacoa?
Authentic Mexican barbacoa beef is made from either the head of a cow or sometimes, chunks of goat meat are used. In the United States., some Mexican restaurants make barbacoa using beef cheeks rather than using the entire head of the cow. Neither Chipotle's barbacoa or this Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef recipe use any part of a cow's head.
Instead, Chipotle makes their barbacoa beef using a beef shoulder, and our recipe calls for stewing beef, which usually comes from cuts of beef chuck or round.
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Can you freeze barbacoa beef?
Fortunately, this spicy shredded beef freezes beautifully, making it the perfect choice for meal prep dinners like a beef burrito bowl!
Actually, there are a lot of ways to use barbacoa beef. Of course, you can use it to make traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. For something a little different, use barbacoa beef to make loaded baked potatoes, a pot of soup, or add some of the beef to an omelet.
Is a burrito bowl healthy?
When making any type of burrito bowl, it can be easy to go overboard with ingredients that are high in calories and fat. For healthier Instant Pot barbacoa beef burrito bowls, consider making some of these easy ingredient swaps:
- Choose leaner cuts of beef, like beef sirloin. For the best flavor of barbacoa beef, use a cut that has at least some fat. If you make it with a beef shoulder, trim away some of the excess fat.
- Use cheeses that are lower in fat.
- Swap out full-fat sour cream for a healthier choice. Light or non-fat sour cream or even yogurt will make the dish healthier.
- Make some cauliflower rice to use in the barbacoa beef bowls. Making them with cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice will lower the calories and carbs in your burrito bowl.
Do you eat burrito bowls cold?
When you get Chipotle barbacoa beef burrito bowls, items like the beef and rice are hot while toppings like lettuce, cheese, and pico de gallo, are cold. So, how do you serve meal prep burrito bowls the same way? No worries, it's easy!
If you want to be able to pack barbacoa beef burrito bowls for meal prep lunches, just place the beef and rice into a small, microwaveable container. Place that container inside of your meal prep container. When you're ready to eat, you just need to microwave the beef and rice for about 2 minutes, then add it into the container with your cold ingredients. Toss to combine and you'll be ready to eat!
Other Mexican meal prep recipes to try:
- Meal Prep Individual Taco Pizza
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
- The Best Carne Asada Fries (Loaded Fries)
Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan to use the Instant Pot barbacoa beef in lunches for the week.
I get all my free-range chicken and grass-fed beef from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Chipotle Copycat)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs stewing beef
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 chipotle pepper, minced
- 2 tbsp adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- Store-bought fresh salsa or pico de gallo
- sour cream
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dry rice
- 1 tsp butter
- Add all ingredients for barbacoa to Instant Pot in order that they are listed. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 2 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-20 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 2 minutes.
- Do a natural pressure release, then open lid when pressure gauge has dropped and lid opens easily (should take about 20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, make rice in a rice cooker and assemble ingredients for bowls.
- When pressure has released, shred beef and then serve with rice and other desired toppings. Enjoy!